This Sunday is the Muslim holiday of Eid-Ul-Fitr, which is affectionately abbreviated as Eid. The celebration marks the end of Ramadan. The first Eid was celebrated by the Prophet Mohammed in 624CE and has been celebrated every year ever since.
Although the date of Eid has been confirmed, Sunday 19th August, it does not officially start until the first sighting of the new moon in the sky which will mark the start of its next cycle. Most Muslims rely on the news to inform them of the first sighting.
Eid is not only to celebrate the end of Ramadan but also to thank Allah in giving Muslims the strength and self-control in the previous month of fasting.
There are many Muslim countries all over the world, in some countries Eid is known under different names, for example in Turkey Eid is known as “Bayram”. The amount of Muslim countries has led to many different traditions in how Eid is celebrated. However, there are some main features which are practiced in all countries to celebrate this festival.
Prayer is very important during this time. Muslims get together in the community to pray as a group. Prayers are held in large mosques or outside, after this there are often processions through the streets.
It is a time to remember those who have died, so during Eid some Muslims may visit cemeteries to lay flowers and remember loved ones.
After prayers Muslims feast in the daytime for the first time in a month. There are large amounts of sweet, tasty foods to celebrate the breaking of the fast. There is a celebratory atmosphere as everyone dresses up in their best clothes and decorates their houses.
Muslims believe Eid is a time for forgiveness and making amends so the community comes together during this festival, they will often greet each other with “Eid Mubarak” (Blessed Eid) or “Eid Sa‘id” (Happy Eid). Adult relatives will give gifts, money or sweets to the children.
Let us know how you are celebrating Eid this year.